Punjab literally means the land of 5 rivers term refers to the 5 rivers flowing thru the region. Due to its rivers Punjab is the most fertile and most populated province of Pakistan. People speak Punjabi here and have many colorful traditions.
Punjab is considered most developed, populous, and prosperous province of Pakistan having about 60% of the country's total population living in it.
Historically, the Punjab region has been part of Sindu Sapta the term meaning (7 Rivers) but in the course of time southern Sindh was shrieked to a small province and Punjab became a larger and more prosperous region of the area.
The word Punjab was introduced by the by the Mughals in the 17th Century AD. It is a combination of the Persian words panj (five) and āb (water), thus the (land of) five rivers. The five rivers which flow thru Punjab are the tributaries of the Indus River namely Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi, Sutlej and Sindhu river itself.
In the Rigveda, the sacred text of Vedism, the Punjab region is associated with the ancient Sapta Sindhu, the Land of Seven Rivers, whilst the later Greeks referred to Punjab as Pentapotamia, an inland delta of five converging rivers. The British used to call Punjab "Our Prussia."
Most of Pakistanis outside Pakistan come from this province.
Punjab of Pakistan has an area of 205,344 km2 (79,284 sq mi) it is the 2nd largest province after Balochistan and is located at the northwestern edge of the geologic Indian plate in South Asia. The province is bordered by Azad Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the province of Sindh to the south, the province of Balochistan to the southwest, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, and the Islamabad Capital Territory to the north.
The capital and largest city is Lahore which was the historical capital of the India during the Moghul times. Other important cities of Punjab include Gujrat, Multan, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Jhelum and Rawalpindi.
Punjab is a mainly a fertile region along the river valleys, while in the southern belt deserts of Cholistan is a bare land. The landscape is amongst the most heavily irrigated on earth and canals can be found throughout the province. Weather extremes are notable from the hot and barren south to the cool hills of the north. The foothills of the Himalayas are found in the extreme north as well.
History of Punjab
The land of Punjab has been the craddle of civilizations. In 2500BC Indus civilisation flourished in this land at Harrappa also known as Harrappan culture. In 1700BC Aryans came to the region conquering the Indus valley and destroying the Indus civilisation and establishing the hindu Birhamanic religion here.
The region remained part of persion empire in 516BC the king Darios made a map of the world where it shows Sindh (Punjab) as part of persia and calles it end of the world.,
The population of Punjab had been pre-dominantly Hindu with large Buddhist minorities before it was conquered by Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 AD. He was the first to bring the message of Islam to the region. It was later spread through the teachings of various Sufi saints. The Mughals controlled the region from 1524-1739. It was their reign that saw the construction of the great architectural wonders such as the Badshahi Mosque and the Shalimar Gardens.
Following the decline and subsequent fall of the Mughal Empire, Maharaja Ranjeet Singh was the most prominent ruler of the Punjab. He established the Sikh Empire that lasted from 1799-1849. During his time a lot of importance was given to the landed aristocracy and he relied upon their loyal support to retain power. However, after his death, political chaos ensued and two of his successor maharajas were assassinated in the succession struggle. The British Empire took control and annexed Punjab in 1849 after two Anglo Sikh Wars.
By virtue of its geo-political position, Punjab was one of Great Britain’s most important assets in colonial India allowing it to execute control over the numerous princely states that made up the country. The British rule saw a series of measures being introduced including the introduction of western education, a new revenue system and the establishment of a new administrative system. However, the increasing resentment of the people towards their colonial masters brought Punjab at the center of the rising rebellion.
The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919 took place in Amritsar and following the Pakistan Resolution of 1940, Punjab was at the heart of the independence struggle of modern day Pakistan. During the partition of India in 1947, most of the Muslim dominated areas went on to form the present day province of Punjab while the Sikh and Hindu dominated regions formed the Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh.
In 1955 due to the rising tensions between East and West Pakistan, Punjab lost it province status. In 1972 however, following the secession of East Pakistan and formation of Bangladesh, it regained its standing. In 1965 and 1971, Punjab witnessed the two wars between India and Pakistan.
Today, Punjab remains the heartbeat of the nation and is at the center of all political and economic progress.
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